Is it all about you? Is it all for your benefit? Is it all for your happiness? Is it all about yourself?
Is it about others? Is it to glorify God? Is it to make Him known? Is it to help others? Is it for the benefit of others?
When we do stuff for a greater purpose and for a reason greater than ourselves, we can glorify God in heaven and point people back to Him!
This morning’s reading begins with Solomon dedicating all the work and effort on the temple up to God…
Dedicating the Temple
1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel—all the heads of the tribes and the ancestral chieftains of the children of Israel—to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring the ark of the covenant of Adonai up from the city of David, which is Zion. 2All the men of Israel assembled themselves to King Solomon at the Feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3Then all the elders of Israel came and the kohanim brought up the ark. 4They brought up the ark of Adonai, the Tent of Meeting and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent the kohanim and the Levites brought them up. 5Now King Solomon—and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled to him—were with him before the ark sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be numbered or counted. 6The kohanim brought the ark of the covenant of Adonai to its place, into the inner Sanctuary of the House, to the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cheruvim. 7For the cheruvim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, and the cheruvim covered the ark and its poles from above. 8But the poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Holy Place before the inner Sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; there they are to this day. 9Nothing was in the ark except the two tables of stone that Moses put there at Horeb, when Adonai cut a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10Now when the kohanim came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the House of Adonai, 11so that the kohanim could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Adonai filled the House of Adonai. 12Then Solomon spoke: “Adonai said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. 13I have surely built You a magnificent House, a place for Your dwelling forever.” 14Then the king turned his face about and blessed the whole congregation of Israel while the whole congregation of Israel was standing. 15He said: “Blessed be Adonai, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and has fulfilled it by His hand, saying: 16‘Since the day I brought My people Israel out from Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a House where My Name would be there. But I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ 17“Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a House for the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel. 18But Adonai said to my father David: ‘Because it was in your heart to build a House for My Name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19Nevertheless you will not build the House, but your son who will come out of your loins, he shall build the House for My Name.’ 20Now Adonai has fulfilled His word that He spoke, for I have risen in the place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as Adonai promised. Also I have built the House for the Name of Adonai, the God of Israel, 21and have set there a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of Adonai, which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.” 22Then Solomon stood before the altar of Adonai in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven, 23and said: “Adonai, God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven above or on earth below, keeping covenant and lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart. 24“You have kept what You promised with Your servant David my father. Yes, You spoke with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 25“Now therefore, Adonai, God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father what You have promised him, saying: ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your children watch their way, walking before Me as you have walked before Me.’ 26Now therefore, God of Israel, please, let Your word be confirmed, which You spoke to Your servant my father David. 27So will God really dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You! How much less this House that I have built! 28Nevertheless, turn to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, Adonai my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You this day. 29Let Your eyes be open toward this House night and day, toward the place of which You have said: ‘My Name shall be there;’ listening to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30“So listen to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive! 31If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, then comes and swears before Your altar in this House, 32then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous, giving him according to his righteousness. 33“When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, if they turn back to You and confess Your Name and pray and make supplication to You in this House, 34then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers. 35“When the skies are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, yet if they pray toward this place and confess Your Name and turn from their sin because You have afflicted them, 36then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel. Teach them the good way in which they should walk, and send rain on Your land which You gave to Your people as an inheritance. 37“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there be blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar, if their enemy should besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or sickness, 38when prayer or supplication is made by anyone or by all Your people Israel—each knowing the plague of his own heart—when one spreads his hands toward this House, 39then may you hear from heaven, Your dwelling place, forgive and act, and give to each man according to all his ways, as You know his heart to be. For You alone know the hearts of all the children of men. 40Then they will fear You all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers. 41“Moreover concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a distant country because of Your Name— 42for they will hear of Your great Name, of Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm—when he comes to pray toward this House, 43then may you hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner asks of You. So all the peoples of the earth may know Your Name, to fear You as Your people Israel do, and know that this House that I have built is called by Your Name. 44“When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You send them, and they pray to Adonai toward the city which You have chosen and toward the House which I have built for Your Name, 45then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 46If they sin against You—for there is no man that does not sin—and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and their captors carry them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47yet if they take it to the heart in the land which they have been carried captive, and they repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captors, saying: ‘We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedly,’ 48and they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who carried them into exile, and pray to You toward their land that You gave to their fathers, the city that You have chosen and the House which I have built for Your Name, 49then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, maintain their cause, 50and forgive Your people who have sinned against You as well as all their transgressions they have transgressed against You, and grant them mercy before their captors, so they may have mercy on them. 51For they are Your people and Your inheritance that You brought out of Egypt, out of the middle of the iron furnace. 52“May Your eyes be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, listening to them whenever they cry to You. 53For You have set them apart from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by the hand of Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, my Lord Adonai.” 54When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to Adonai, he arose from before the altar of Adonai, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55Then he stood and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying: 56“Blessed be Adonai who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. Not a single word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant. 57May Adonai Eloheinu be with us as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us. 58May He incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His mitzvot, His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. 59May these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before Adonai, be near Adonai Eloheinu day and night, so that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires. 60May all the peoples of the earth know that Adonai, He is God, there is no other! 61Let your heart, therefore, be wholly devoted to Adonai Eloheinu, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as it is today.” 62Now the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifice before Adonai. 63Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to Adonai: 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the House of Adonai. 64On that same day, the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the House of Adonai, for there he offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar that was before Adonai was too small to accommodate the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat of the fellowship offerings. 65So Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated the Festival at that time—a great congregation from the entrance of Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt—before Adonai Eloheinu, seven days and then seven more days—14 days in all. 66On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their tents joyful and glad of heart over all the goodness that Adonai had shown to His servant David and to His people Israel.
–from 1 Kings 8 (TLV)
Will you live your life in a way that you won’t need prophets to come in and tell you to turn back to God, love God and love people? Will the work you do be in a manner where you glorify God, you serve God, you love God and you love people and serve people?
God is trustworthy! God is faithful! God is just! God is love! God is light and there is no darkness in Him!
We on the other hand aren’t perfect and miss the mark. We need God’s help, God’s forgiveness, God’s wisdom to be able to accomplish a great plan and purpose!
1When all the work that Solomon undertook for the House of Adonai was finished, Solomon brought in the things David his father consecrated—the silver, gold and all the furnishings—and put them in the treasuries of the House of God.
Consecration of the Temple
2Then Solomon gathered to Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the patriarchal leaders of Bnei-Yisrael, in order to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai from the city of David, which is Zion. 3All the men of Israel gathered together to the king at the feast that is in the seventh month. 4So all the elders of Israel came and the Levites took up the Ark 5and brought up the Ark and the Tent of Meeting along with all the sacred furnishings that were in the Tent. The Levitical kohanim brought them up. 6Meanwhile, King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel who gathered with him before the Ark, were sacrificing so many sheep and bulls that they could not be counted or numbered. 7The kohanim brought in the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai to its place, into the inner Sanctuary of the House, into the Holy of Holies under the wings of the cheruvim. 8The cheruvim spread their wings over the place of the Ark so that the cheruvim covered the Ark and its poles from above. 9Now the poles were so long that the ends of the poles extending from the Ark could be seen in front of the inner Sanctuary, though they could not be seen from outside; and they are there to this day. 10There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed there at Horeb, where Adonai made a covenant with Bnei-Yisrael when they came out of Egypt.
God’s Glory Fills the Temple
11And it came to pass, when the kohanim came out of the Holy Place—for all the kohanim that were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to divisions— 12all the Levite singers—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, their sons and their relatives—dressed in fine linen with cymbals, harps and lyres, were standing at the east end of the altar and with them were 120 kohanim blowing trumpets. 13Then it came to pass that when the trumpeters and singers joined as one to extol and praise Adonai, and when the sound of the trumpets, cymbals and musical instruments and the praise of Adonai—“For He is good, for His mercy endures forever”—grew louder, the Temple, the House of Adonai, was filled with a cloud. 14The kohanim could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Adonai filled the House of God.
–from 2 Chronicles 5 (TLV)
In the old days, people had to have blood sacrifices for forgiveness regularly! With Jesus who paid it all, once for all, we just need to turn to Him and ask and He who is faithful and just will forgive us! People used to have to go to the temple and now Jesus is in the heavenly temple sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me. So start, develop, and build a relationship with Jesus! Invite Him into your heart and start the journey of love!
Messiah Enters the Heavenly Holies
1Now even the first one had regulations for worship and the earthly sanctuary. 2For a tent was prepared: in the outer part were the menorah, the table, and the presentation of the bread—this is called the Holy Place. 3Beyond the second curtain was a dwelling called the Holy of Holies. 4It held a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant, completely covered with gold. In the ark was a golden jar holding the manna , Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant— 5and above it, cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. But it is not now possible to speak in detail about these things. 6Now with these things prepared this way, the kohanim do continually enter into the outer tent while completing the services; 7but into the inner, once a year, the kohen gadol alone— and not without blood which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8By this the Ruach ha-Kodesh makes clear that the way into the Holies has not yet been revealed while the first tent is still standing. 9It is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly, gifts and sacrifices are being offered that cannot make the worshiper perfect with respect to conscience. 10These relate only to food and drink and various washings—regulations for the body imposed until a time of setting things straight. 11But when Messiah appeared as Kohen Gadol of the good things that have now come, passing through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands (that is to say not of this creation), 12He entered into the Holies once for all—not by the blood of goats and calves but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Messiah—who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God—cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that those called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—since a death has taken place that redeems them from violations under the first covenant. 16For where there is a covenant, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17For a covenant is secured upon the basis of dead bodies, since it has no strength as long as the one who made it lives. 18That is why not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Torah, he took the blood of the calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and he sprinkled both the book itself and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” 21And in the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22And nearly everything is purified in blood according to the Torah, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23Therefore it was necessary for the replicas of these heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices—but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Messiah did not enter into Holies made with hands—counterparts of the true things—but into heaven itself, now to appear in God’s presence on our behalf. 25And He did not offer Himself again and again—as the kohen gadol enters into the Holy of Holies year after year with blood that is not his own. 26For then He would have needed to suffer again and again from the foundation of the world. But as it is, He has been revealed once and for all at the close of the ages—to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this judgment, 28so also Messiah, was offered once to bear the sins of many. He will appear a second time, apart from sin, to those eagerly awaiting Him for salvation.
–from Hebrews 9 (TLV)